Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beginnings

Here's my new mantra:

"Every great lesson begins with a great question...

...that the students generated."

If the kids come up with the questions, then they care more about figuring them out.  The art is steering them so that they're dealing with the desired concepts, and the hard part is giving up control of the lesson.

For example:

(I stole this video from the internets, of course!)

The Great Tricycle Race

I used this one this year.  My prompt: "What can you do with this?"  It took a few minutes, but some great questions came up:
  • "How fast are they going?"
  • "Where were they when the race started (assuming that they started at the same time)?"
  • "When did each start (assuming that they started in the same place)?"
  • "When/where are the unseen passes?"
Awesome questions - they took 35 minutes and took some data from the video, answered their own questions, and presented the answers to each other.  I was really pleased with the first trial for this new method.

In subsequent units, I'm going to tease the whole thing with a video, let the class develop the questions, and then come back to them right before the test and let them use their new knowledge to answer them.

For 2D kinematics, I'm thinking about this one:

Yikes

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